Topic: formatting DCI compliant drive


First, thank you so much to the developers of this software, and to those who maintain and contribute to these forums!

My question relates to how to best format the drive for delivering my DCP, using a Mac running Mavericks, in order for it to be DCI compliant and be read as widely as possible.

I have read that the ideal is to format the drive from Linux (which I have no experience with, and would rather not have to enter that whole other world right now).  And that using Paragon ExtFS for Mac OS is likely to cause file corruption.  Is this still the case?

From what I read (here (!topic … WY8NApcG6M) and here ( in the comments section), it appears that the drive should:
- be Ext2 or Ext3 formatted
- have a 128KB inode size
- have the DCP to be at the root level of Partition 0

My questions:
1. I have read that Paragon ExtFS for Mac OS is unable to either format 128KB inodes or have the DCP at the root level of Partition 0.  Is this still true? 

2. Which is better, Ext2 or Ext3?

3.  I have also read that Paragon will often cause file corruption when copying files.  Is there a way to avoid this?

4. Besides Paragon ExtFS, is there another way to reliably write a drive with the correct format from a Mac?

5. Also, does the type of drive itself matter?  That is, does a USB 2.0 work as well as a 3.0 or a FW800 drive?  I just purchased a USB 3.0 flash drive, and am hoping this will do.

Many thanks in advance to any advice-givers!

Re: formatting DCI compliant drive

To some degree, there is no absolute answer because the capabilities of the servers vary. Best practices is to use an EXT3 formatted drive with a 128kb Inode. The drive should be self powered and not USB powered. In most cases a flash drive will be fine.

If you use something like VirtualBox or VMware Fusion, you can install a Linux virtual machine and format a drive and copy over the DCP.

Many newer servers will read HFS and NTFS drives. The most important thing is to give yourself time to work through any issues. It's not something you want to try to do last minute, especially your first time.

Re: formatting DCI compliant drive

Thanks for the advice!

I first installed Virtual Box.  Then Ubuntu 14.04.2 (the latest), along with the Extension Pack and the Guest Additions.  The Ubuntu guest OS was unable to read the USB drive in the Disks utility (the standard for formatting) or in the gparted application I downloaded and installed.  When I open Terminal and enter sudo fdisk -l  it doesn't show up.  However, it does show up in the little USB icon menu at the bottom of the primary Ubuntu window (First it shows in black text, then if I click on it, it gets a little check next to it – but still doesn't mount, and still can't manage to format it).

After about 5 hours of trying various other things, including reading everything online I could understand, I decided to try Paragon ExtFS, the Mac OS program that allows you to format Ext3.  However, it doesn't support the 128kb inode size I need :-/

I wrote Paragon and they recommended the following:
you can easily change formatting settings by using a command line.

To change inode sizes (standard is 256), do the following steps:

1. Install HomeBrew Software ( open terminal and type in the following:
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL … /install)”
During the installation software will ask for downloading additional components.
2. This command will download and install e2fsprogs:
brew install e2fsprogs
3. To create ExtFS with custom inode size:
/usr/local/Cellar/e2fsprogs/1.42.11/sbin/mkfs.ext2 -i  device mkfs.ext3 and mkfs.ext4 is also available

I tried the following, and got the following error:
Woven-Path:~ Tiroteo$ /usr/local/Cellar/e2fsprogs/1.42.11/sbin/mkfs.ext3 -i ME_DCP mkfs.ext3: invalid inode ratio ME_DCP (min 1024/max 67108864)

Now, I'm at a loss :'-(

I did some more research, and my next guess is I could type the following:
/usr/local/Cellar/e2fsprogs/1.42.11/sbin/mkfs.ext3 -i 128 /dev/disk1s1

I got the name of the disk from Disk Utility – not sure if that's correct, especially since that seems to be a partition name and not the entire disk name. Is that right?? Would that format my entire drive to Ext3 with an inode of 128Kb? And that allow me to place my DCP files at the root level of Partition 0? I'm a bit confused about how to name the drive.

And then I'm hoping that from there I will be able to use Paragon ExtFS to simply copy my files to the drive... Sorry if these are obvious, I'm a total noob with all this.

Many thanks for any guidance you might be able to give!

Re: formatting DCI compliant drive

OK, I figured out how to format my usb 3.0 flash drive in Ext3, using Virtual Box and Ubuntu 14.04.2 on my Mac running Mavericks.

I believe I had a few issues... in any case, this is what I did, and one of them, or a combo of them, seem to have solved it:

Added Extension Pack and the Guest Additions.
Added my user to vboxusers user group (via command line).
Installed gparted
Added a USB filter for my device like this: … th-ubuntu/
Connected my USB 3.0 device to my computer via a USB 2.0 extension cable (apparently Virtual box does not support USB 2.0)

This last one seems to have allowed Virtual Box and Ubuntu to read, mount and format my flash drive.  Phew.

Re: formatting DCI compliant drive

Thanks for information. I'm glad you got everything working.